This week, voters in the state of Virginia chose their Democratic candidates for this fall’s state elections: Delegates, state Senators, State Attorney General, Lt. Governor, and Governor.
At the top of the ticket? They chose Terry McAuliffe.
On the one hand, he was a popular governor from 2014-2018. Had he run for re-election then he almost certainly would’ve won, if the Virginia state constitution didn’t forbid consecutive gubernatorial terms.
He did good stuff as a governor, restoring voting rights to more than 200,000 mostly non-white Virginians, although he was faced with a Republican-controlled legislative branch, so his main accomplishment was having to replace his veto pen every six months stopping unending culture war foolishness.
And he raises money like a mofo, and that’s going to be important, with a very wealthy Trumpist Republican challenger who has an almost unlimited ability to self-fund his campaign.
There were two qualified Black women running. Jennifer McClellan is HIGHLY qualified. Jennifer Carroll Foy is HIGHLY charismatic. It’s unfortunate that those traits were spread over two candidates, but either would have been a good choice for Virginians.
Either also would’ve been the first woman of any color to be governor of Virginia (if elected), and either would’ve been the first Black woman to be governor of any state (if elected). (Virginia elected its first Black governor, L. Douglas Wilder, in 1990.)
Yes, 2016 still has Dems shook. Yes, beating TrumPutin was the key goal for 2020, and lots of folks are mostly, at this point, concerned about who can beat his disciples at all levels (of which the Republican candidate in Virginia definitely is one).
So apparently, we’re all retreating to the “safety” of white dudes.
Just over two weeks ago, I had my first restaurant meal since before the pandemic, brunch with two friends who are VERY active in Virginia politics. Both voted for McAuliffe, because, as one of them put it, “I didn’t want to throw away my vote.”
IT’S A PRIMARY. THERE IS NO SUCH THING.
On election night 2016, we learned that the US is more sexist than it is racist – and, let’s be honest, we’re pretty damn racist as a country.
Four and a half years later, that remains true.
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